Cancer patient Ruti Yulzari with her grandson Matan at the Western Wall, September 14, 2017..
(photo credit: MAGEN DAVID ADOM)
Israeli cancer patient and grandmother Ruti Yulzari's greatest dream was to see her grandson, a recent IDF recruit, swear allegiance to the army at the Western Wall.
That dream was realized last week when Magen David Adom's (MDA) "Ambulance of Wishes" initiative enabled grandmother Ruti to be present at her grandson Matan's swearing-in ceremony, alongside hundreds of soon-to-be IDF paratroopers.
The "Ambulance of Wishes" is an initiative designed to fulfill the wishes of those suffering from serious or terminal illness and are therefore unable to travel independently. Every "wish" that is fulfilled through the initiative requires coordination with the patient's doctors and is organized according to his or her medical needs.
The MDA ambulance and medical staff took Ruti from her home in Rehovot to the Western Wall in Jerusalem where she met her grandson, saluted him and watched the ceremony. At all times, the medical crew were nearby in case their assistance was required.
"I wish to thank the 'Ambulance of Wishes' team who made it possible for me to attend the swearing-in ceremony of my darling grandson, Matan," said Ruti.
"Continue and strengthen your important work. A huge thank you."
After swearing his allegiance to the army, Matan said: "I am deeply moved that my grandmother could come to my swearing-in ceremony. I am proud to swear allegiance to the IDF and to be part of the Paratrooper Brigade."
Ruti's husband Eli added: "I am still emotional. I want to thank Magen David Adom and the 'Ambulance of Wishes' team. This was a wonderful, moving and more than successful experience... Continue to fulfill dreams."
Paramedic Tal Peleg, one of the medical professionals who accompanied Ruti in the ambulance, was also deeply moved by the event.
"It was an experience I will never forget. Throughout the journey Ruti told us about her family and we could see the emotion when we arrived at the Western Wall. We, like her, were deeply moved," said Peleg. "It is a great honor to be part of this and to help a lady who simply wants to see her grandson swear allegiance, to help give a patient the opportunity to fulfill a dream."
"There is nothing more Israeli and Zionist than the dream of a proud grandmother with only one request - to hear her grandson declare 'I swear allegiance' to the IDF in person," said MDA Director General Eli Bin.